A Treat in a Year of Tricks

Photo by Lou Ohms

Halloween is a popular holiday that has changed as a result of COVID-19. Many people have decided to halt activities like trick-or-treating with friends or attend parties and have changed their plans to stay safe.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has made recommendations about Halloween to keep it safe. They provide ratings of lower, moderate, and higher risk activities for Halloween, suggesting lower risk activities.

Some of the lower risk activities include staying home with your family, doing things virtually, or only with your family. Moderate risk activities have people going trick-or-treating or to parties, but social distancing and wearing masks. The high-risk activities are going trick-or-treating and to parties, without social distancing, or masks.

Some Fort Lauderdale High School (FLHS) teachers and students have used these recommendations as a guide for their Halloween plans.

“​We usually go door-to-door trick-or-treating in our neighborhood,” said Mrs. Paige Brochu, a new FLHS Marine Science teacher and a parent of elementary school children. “We did a drive-through pumpkin patch and will be doing a kid-friendly drive-through haunted forest/trick-or-treating on Halloween.”

Many local communities had held popular, large Halloween celebrations in the past. But this year, the holiday will look and feel very different.

Rio Vista is normally a popular Halloween spot for friends and families. The neighborhood usually hosts an annual Halloween party, residents decorate their homes, and trick-or-treaters flood the streets.

This year, they are having various activities that allow families to participate and stay safe. One of these activities is a drive-thru with actors dressed up in costumes and stations to pass out candy. Another activity is virtual contests. Rio Vista is doing small virtual contests, including a costume contest and a pumpkin decorating contest.

FLHS students are disappointed that neighborhoods will not hold their  annual festivities.

“It used to be fun. Everyone would run around together while trick-or-treating. Rio Vista always had the best and biggest candy bars,” said Ivy Heath (9). “Usually, on Halloween, I go to some of my buddies’ houses for block parties. I am not sure what I am going to do this Halloween.”

Families are also being creative in finding ways to allow their children to celebrate the popular holiday.

Art teacher, Mr. Brian Fitzgerald, is keeping his second-grade daughter busy and safe while enjoying the holiday.

“[We] decorated the house, went to church for a Halloween party,” he said. “We are going to a COVID-safe house, where everyone is tested. They are watching movies, bobbing for apples, playing games, and it is a change for my daughter to socialize with her friends.”

“Typically she goes trick or treating with a big group of friends. This year she is going to drive around to five different family members’ houses,” said Mrs. Brook Goren, FLHS math teacher and parent of a second-grader.

Whatever their plans are for the holiday, the most important part is that everyone stays safe.

Editor’s note: Due to issues with publication, this article was originally released after Halloween. We have decided to run the article despite this fact for retrospective analysis and posterity.

-Benjamin Schnirman, editor

Categories: Community

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